James "I am a Camera" O'Keefe has scored another stunning victory, this time against Mike Ellis, a Republican and Wisconsin's state Senate President. O'Keefe's Project Veritas caught Ellis talking in a bar aboutsetting up an illegal super PAC to collect money for his fall campaign against Democratic candidate Penny Bernard Schaber, and after the video was posted Wednesday, Ellis announced today that he was dropping his bid for reelection. Yr Wonkette is of two minds on this: On the one hand, it certainly looks like Ellis was talking about illegally setting up his own PAC, a violation of campaign finance laws that prohibit candidates from coordinating their campaigns with PACs. That's not good. On the other hand, James O'Keefe is just about the slimiest, most dishonest political operator out there, and we're not sure that the benefit of exposing a politician's plans to do sleazy political funding is balanced by O'Keefe's sleazy methods. This is really one of those pox o' both thy houses things, don't you think? And by "pox," of course, we mean "VD."

The video -- much of which is just audio -- shows Ellis at a bar, explaining, as insufferably bad light rock plays in the background, his plans for the fall election:

“I am putting together my own super PAC. My brother Dave is going to be in charge of it. We’re going to have $500,000. I don’t need to kiss anybody’s ass.”

And just to add that extra little dose of WTF, Ellis has long been an advocate of campaign finance reform. He had claimed, the day after the video was posted, that he had definitely talked about setting up a PAC, but dropped the idea once he looked into it and discovered it would be illegal.

Regardless of whether Ellis would or wouldn't have actually gone through with it, that's the sleazy thing about O'Keefe's method -- he says he simply wants to expose hypocrisy, but he's not above exaggerating what it is that his dumb secret recordings reveal. In the intro to the Ellis video, O'Keefe says the tape shows Ellis "potentially conspiring to commit a felony," which has maybe enough qualifiers, but also implies that Ellis actually went ahead and set up the illegal PAC -- and there's no evidence to show that he did. Yes, it's bad enough that Ellis even considered it, but the video by itself doesn't prove anything other than that Ellis talked about a thing, not that it went any further than that. And of course, it shows Ellis badmouthing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, which for O'Keefe's crowd of teabagger fans is probably the more offensive crime.

We'll also give grudging credit to O'Keefe for at least releasing the unedited video at the same time as the 5-minute edited version -- recording people without their knowledge or permission is still sleazy, but at least there's no question of whether the tape, this time, was misleadingly edited. If you think you can stomach it, here's the shorter of the two videos; the uncut version is here.

So now, it looks like James O'Keefe has a new mission -- destroying Republicans who aren't sufficiently rightwing for his tastes (or those of his funders). And, of course, promoting James O'Keefe.

[JournalSentinel / WaPo]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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